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    Thread: 96 ~ A Revisit

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      Default 96 ~ A Revisit

      There are many movies in the past which I loved and later I liked and then didn’t bother to watch again. Maybe it’s the genre or maybe the movie couldn’t withstand the changing times or maybe other reasons. Of course, there are movies which I didn’t like in the first viewing and later changed my opinion with multiple experiences. But that’s topic for another day to discuss.

      What made me go through the “96” experience again? I seriously believe it’s the music of Govind Vasantha which kept playing in my jukebox. Or it’s the visuals of Life of Ram (an experience many wish to). Both ways, 96 is still alive even after more than a year since I saw the movie from big screen.

      Before going to the revisit, I would like to share my “96” theatrical experience. This is perhaps the only movie which I went t watch in a theater without watching a single shot (as far as I can recall) or a review. It was a boring day in Kerala and I decided to catch a matinee show only because of Vijay Sethupathy. Both boring day & Vijay Sethupathy played equally important roles. There were only a handful of people because I believe majority went for the show just because its Vijay Sethupathy film. But once the movie commenced, we were sucked into the experience where we felt the love of Ram towards Janu. I cannot vice versa because Janu’s love story looked minuscule in front of Ram’s. After the show (thankfully with a pin drop silent audience), we just left the screen silently. Now that was totally unexpected. Something we thought we lost in 90s have came back. When was the last time we saw a beautiful movie from the romance genre?

      I did watch 96 a couple of times after that show which led me to the gap. I thought I won’t be watching the movie again (at least for next 5 years). But then somehow, I took a break just to watch this movie again. This time, alone!!

      One thing I didn’t took notice off during the theatrical experience was the drone shot where Ram writes his name on the shores of an island and adding another name which goes a bit out of focus and incomplete. Since this is a revisit, that name is clear for me and surprisingly gave me another image of “96”. Now the song “Karaivindha..” was titled as Life of Ram makes complete sense. Ram was never unhappy because of his lost love. But rather he was content with the memories of Janu. Even when he leads a nomadic life of a Travel Photographer, his Janu accompanied him everywhere as an imaginary soulmate. One of the striking lines from the movie was “A photo freezes life” and pointing to his student, “The photo you took will always show me as 37..no matter how old the photo is”. It clearly illustrates the philosophy of Ram’s current life. No matter how many years passed by, Ram is still the 10th grade school boy who is in love with Janu. In a light-hearted scene, his friend Satish makes him realize that its been 20 years (or 22 years for Janu). In contrast, Janu doesn’t lead a nomadic life. She has a family featuring husband and a daughter. Such responsibilities might have made Janu keep Ram away from her life for a period and just like she said, “I am peaceful!”. That means she has adjusted with her new life. Maybe this is the reason why I felt Ram’s version more striking because he walks through a thin life which separates pain &happiness. And he looks very comfortable inside which makes him a lost soul in the real world. In the Thanjavur scene, He tells his student to drive straight when she suggested whether he wants to stop by at his old house. “People will come to chat with me!”. It clearly shows that Ram doesn’t want anyone or anything to disturb his life filled with memories & illusions. Or rather he doesn’t want to step out in the real world. This brings to the school where Ram finds to be the only place where can dearly connect with his current life just like the bridge in the past!! Ram can now relive the 10th grade student in the real world which drove the urge to reconnect with his old school friends. The maker C Premkumar doesn’t introduce Janu as Ram visits each portion of the school. This shows that Ram somehow got out of the Janu world and coming back to the real world. The reunion with his old schoolmates shows an energetic & cheerful Ram which is quite the opposite of what we saw during “Life of Ram”. The confusion begins once he realizes that Janu is attending the reunion function.

      The brilliance of the movie is the multilayered narration where each layer is peeled to give what these characters really are and what made them (especially Ram) behave at that moment. Why was Ram finding it hard to meet Janu again after 22 years? Is it the gap? Is it the fact that she’s married, and he still lives with memories about her? Or basically he is a timid character who fails to express his feelings? All these reasons might have a played a role. But the pivotal reason is revealed much later when Ram realizes that Janu never rejected him when he visited her college. It was a sheer misunderstanding that caused the breakup. Ram was finding it hard to meet Janu (in reality) because this will kill the Janu in his memories. This confusion followed by the reveal which clears off the confusion and conveys an image of. In the movie Ram says that he followed her silently without her being noticed. This is an unexplained portion in the movie. What the requirement for the silent stalking? Maybe Ram’s financial issues back home has affected his confidence? Maybe Ram might have weird thoughts of Janu forgetting him (which was confirmed by the misunderstanding). Premkumar gives audience the opportunity to come up with their own image. Similarly, how is Janu’s life in Singapore? What’s she is doing there? What did she mean by “peaceful”? I believe Prem wanted the audience complete focus on the Ram-Janu track by not inviting any subplots to disturb the flow.
      The sequences post interval where Janu takes Ram to a hair saloon is her attempt to revisit her past. Also, the most memorable scene where Janu narrates the proposal scene to Ram’s students. This indicates Janu is also living in the past eventhough she is not leading a loner life. Or maybe meeting Ram played a key role. A transition where Janu, who is a mother and a wife, is slowly becoming the woman in Ram’s dreams. To bring the audience to their nostalgia, Prem smartly used Ilayaraja’s songs because I don’t think any music director’s songs can justify that emotion. Eventhough the choices are based on Janaki’s numbers, if you take all the songs, it’sbased on movies which undergone romantic complications & tragedies. The song which Ram wanted to hear Janu sing (“Yamuna Aatrile..”) had a sequence where Deva listens to Subbalakshmi singing exclusively for him in his imaginations. Coincidentally, Thalapathy also shows Deva as a love failure. I believe all the Ilayaraja-Janaki songs are chosen with a purpose which connects to the mood of the sequence (along with nostalgic factor) if you notice the meaning of the lyrics.

      Towards the end of the movie, we see how happy & comfortable they were when they interact with each other as if it’s a dreamland during “Thaapangale..” song and how hard was it to accept the reality when they see the airport during the same song which indicates that reality is nearing by. When Janu says that she felt the old scent when Ram opened his old box containing “items” which connects him to the past. This emotion can be only shared with Janu. Finally, when Janu bids a tearful adieu to Ram at the airport, it becomes more harder for Ram. More than Janu, he doesn’t want this moment to end. I believe if Janu didn’t meet Ram, it would have been much lesser painful experience since it will be hard for him to get back to his nomadic life (especially when all the confusions are cleared). When the movies end with a shot where Ram adds Janu’s dress into his suitcase, it leads to a bit of ambiguity. Did he find peace with his past and decided to start a new life (under the insistence of Janu, who is regretting for her mistake which affected both their lives) or going back to his nomadic life filled with memories of Janu.

      One of the criticisms I heard/read about this movie is whether is it possible for someone to have feelings for each other after 22 years of zero contact? Or will anyone be sane enough to lead a life like Ram? I believe human mind works in ways which is impossible for humans to predict. “96” shares an image of how romantic a platonic relationship can be if the emotions are conveyed in the right propositions which convinced a large section of the audience that resulted in its success. The ones who got connected with the movie clearly wishes the movie was longer featuring more moments of Ram-Janu even when its close 160 minutes.

      I have seen many Tamil movies in recent times where many were overrated (mostly from thriller genre) and some underrated. But I personally find “96” as one of those rare gems (like Autograph) which deserves all the applause it earned. Even after more than 366 days, it is an alluring experience see the 9 to 6 meeting between Ram & Janu.

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      Ente last yearile fav movie aarnu. ipozhum idakke chila friends aayi discuss cheyunna movie. pakshe revisit cheyan pedi aanu.
      Last edited by Smartu; 5th November 2019 at 12:59 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Smartu View Post
      Ente last yearile fav movie aarnu. ipozhum idakke chila friends aayi discuss cheyunna movie. pakshe revisit cheyan pedi aanu.

      ​Pedi??

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      Thanks Intex....ente wife nte favourite movie aanu
      #WAR

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      Quote Originally Posted by Tony Stark View Post
      Thanks Intex....ente wife nte favourite movie aanu

      Actually I suggested this movie to an SRK fan (from Pune) that it will be a perfect comeback vehicle for SRK if he remakes this with Kajol/Juhi/Madhuri. After seeing this film, he agreed wholeheartedly. He even told that Janaki's songs can be replaced with Lata Mangeshkar and he also suggested some songs like..."Tu Jahan Jahan Chalega...Mere Saaya.." as a replacement for "Yamuna Aatrile..". And of course songs like "Lag Ja Gale..", "Aapki Nazaron Ne Samjha.." etc.


      @The Poocha...SRK cheyythal pinne Bhaiyude kaaryathil theerumanamaayi
      Last edited by intexaqua; 5th November 2019 at 04:24 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by intexaqua View Post
      ​Pedi??
      Personally angane oru phase loode aanu kadannu povunne so athinte vishamam. on top of that climax perfect aanenu thonumengilum ullilnte ulil avaru onnichirunel ennu aagrahicha aalanu
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      Quote Originally Posted by Smartu View Post
      Personally angane oru phase loode aanu kadannu povunne so athinte vishamam. on top of that climax perfect aanenu thonumengilum ullilnte ulil avaru onnichirunel ennu aagrahicha aalanu
      Actually 96 enna cinema kurichu oru discussion undaayirunnu. Athil paryunde if Ram & Janu got married, we might have to see a totally different phase. A zero confident Ram who is going through financial crisis leading a married life with Janu who is going through a stress. The profession of Ram and NRI exposure of Janu gave them experience, maturity to handle their reunion in a beautiful manner. They both know that they cannot marry each other but doesn't mean they have to stop loving each other. They can continue their love story in a platonic manner as depicted in the movie.

      Ee oru illustration aanu ee cinemayude bhangi...Thats why we wanted their love story continue!!!...But just imagine Janu leaving her family to go back to Ram...It would have killed the beauty!!!

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      Quote Originally Posted by intexaqua View Post
      Actually 96 enna cinema kurichu oru discussion undaayirunnu. Athil paryunde if Ram & Janu got married, we might have to see a totally different phase. A zero confident Ram who is going through financial crisis leading a married life with Janu who is going through a stress. The profession of Ram and NRI exposure of Janu gave them experience, maturity to handle their reunion in a beautiful manner. They both know that they cannot marry each other but doesn't mean they have to stop loving each other. They can continue their love story in a platonic manner as depicted in the movie.

      Ee oru illustration aanu ee cinemayude bhangi...Thats why we wanted their love story continue!!!...But just imagine Janu leaving her family to go back to Ram...It would have killed the beauty!!!
      Athoke nammal follow cheythu vanna oru culture ne base cheythulla thought alle? namude society undakiya chatta koodu. Love should be something that breaks all this walls enna thoniyitulle. Pakshe angane oru societyil jeevichu vanna Ram and Janu vere oru decision edukila enulathu vere karyam
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      Quote Originally Posted by intexaqua View Post

      Actually I suggested this movie to an SRK fan (from Pune) that it will be a perfect comeback vehicle for SRK if he remakes this with Kajol/Juhi/Madhuri. After seeing this film, he agreed wholeheartedly. He even told that Janaki's songs can be replaced with Lata Mangeshkar and he also suggested some songs like..."Tu Jahan Jahan Chalega...Mere Saaya.." as a replacement for "Yamuna Aatrile..". And of course songs like "Lag Ja Gale..", "Aapki Nazaron Ne Samjha.." etc.


      @The Poocha...SRK cheyythal pinne Bhaiyude kaaryathil theerumanamaayi
      Angane King oru 100 kwadi adikkanda

      Mass Padam with Atlee loading
      Sabki Aan Sabki Shaan Sabka ek Bhaijaan

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      Quote Originally Posted by The Poocha View Post
      Angane King oru 100 kwadi adikkanda

      Mass Padam with Atlee loading

      ​Athu pottum!!!

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